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Angling’s supreme innovator, Andy Findlay, sheds some light on yet another home-made tactic that is getting him some impressive results!

Those in the angling world that know me will know just how much I like to create and come up with new tackle inventions or adaptations of baits and methods. Second to this, they will also know that my favourite bait for big bags of carp is… paste!

It is common knowledge that fish wise up to certain methods and tactics; this is why we get crazes in angling. You will notice how every year we see certain new methods do all the damage at different venues up and down the country. The following year the exact same method may not work at all and something new will replace it.

It is for this reason that I feel keeping one step ahead of the game really gives me the edge and even catches me fish that nobody else can catch – the biggest, cleverest occupants of the lake!


Corn Paste

If you're fishing for big fish, use a big bait!

If it wasn’t for the guys at Pole Fishing magazine mithering me to give away the secrets of my latest bait innovation I wouldn’t be telling anybody. Over the last year or so I have caught thousands of pounds of fish using my new home-made bait, and during the warmer month's I see no better tactic for catching big bags of carp. There isn’t a venue I will go to without my secret concoction.

I call it corn paste, and it is quite simply exactly that – corn that I have pushed through a sausage mincer to create a stodgy, sloppy paste. My thinking is that fish have wised up to the taste of fishmeal and see it as an indication that anglers are about. On the flip side, a bright ball of yellow paste is irresistible to the carp and more importantly they have never seen it before, so have every confidence in slurping it right up.

I prepare it at home the night before a session and it needn’t cost you much at all! I find I have had good results using Sonubaits F1 corn, although supermarket own-brand sweetcorn can also work well. Roughly five tins pushed through the sausage mincer fills a 3pt bait tub, which is plenty for a standard session. Adding half a handful of micro pellets helps to soak up some of the excess moisture.

As with standard paste, corn paste is a bait that will target the biggest fish in a lake, so everything about this way of fishing has to be positive. My setup is made to be robust and no-nonsense. I use 0.17mm diameter Reflo Power straight through to a size 10 PR 456; I see no need in using hooklengths for this type of fishing, I don’t want any weak spots in my rig.

I never have any shot on my line when paste fishing and using a self-cocking paste float means I can read when my bait has come off, when I am getting line bites and most importantly when I get a proper bite. The key attributes of this float are its 2in bristle, its thick glass stem, which is super-strong and stable, and its double eyes, one at both the top and bottom of the bristle, reducing the chances of a tangles.


Feeding And Hooking The Bait


Getting your hook bait into the swim is arguably the biggest challenge when using paste. I see a lot of people trying to swing the bait out to the required place, usually unsuccessfully with the hook bait dropping off halfway to its required destination. In fact, if doing it this way is successful your paste is probably way too stiff anyway.

Getting your paste to the correct spot should be easy and following my simple guide should give you a good idea of the best way of doing it in the most efficient way possible.


1) Mega Cad Pot


Having a good Cad Pot is vital to paste fishing. Firstly it is the only means to getting your paste to the swim consistently every time; positioning it as you would using other baits is the most accurate way of doing it.

Secondly, this method of fishing involves feeding positively. By using a big pot, in this case a Mega Cad Pot from Preston Innovations, I am able to feed a good helping of corn along with my large blob of corn paste.


2) Work It Out


Throughout your session you will soon get an idea of the size of fish you are catching. You can then alter your hook bait accordingly. Don’t be scared to use a hook bait that seems extraordinarily large – big carp will soon slurp it up! A golf ball-sized blob is usually what I will end up using.


3) Hooking The Bait


Use your thumb/finger to create a small indentation to push your hook into. This will ensure once you have folded the bait around your hook that your hook is at the bottom of the bait, meaning your float will sit properly in the water.


4) Big Hooks


You can soon see how using a big hook makes sense when fishing a big bait like paste. Your hook is completely hidden within the bait, so using a big hook like a size 10 is only going to benefit you in hooking more fish. If you look closely I have even left a long tag off the back of the hook; I curl this between my fingernails, which helps ‘grip’ the paste to keep it on the hook for longer.


5) Give It A Dip


Once I have moulded the bait around the hook and line I always give it a dip in a bowl of water I keep on my side tray. This helps the bait stick together, allowing it to get to the bottom of my swim without dissolving as it hits the water.


6) Ready To Go


The final step is to drop your paste into your Cad Pot and get fishing, simple as that! 


The Session

There's no point in rushing when every fish is a double!

The Pole Fishing cameras join me at the brilliant Glebe Fishery in Peckleton, Leicestershire. I have sat myself on one of the famed big-fish pegs on the venue – the boards on Uglies pool…

On a venue such as this I feel no need for messing around with other tactics, when I am certain paste will work from the off. The only difference would be the way I start the session. If I was to leave the swim for the first hour or so before going on it I would generally feed it with a full 250ml cup of corn with a couple of blobs of paste in to give them a taster.

Today, I am going to go straight in with my bait and a handful of corn fed through my Cad Pot. I would generally expect a couple of feeds before getting a bite, but such is the brilliance of this venue I am into a fish within the first five minutes of the session! A carp of around 10lb graces my net, not a bad start!

My next few put-ins also produce bites; my float is constantly dipping and diving due to liners and the commotion of fish beneath the surface. It doesn’t take long to work out the difference between these false indications and a proper bite and on occasion my 15H Preston Innovations elastic was being ripped out of the end of pole, due to the confidence the fish had in taking my bait.

Teamed up with a puller kit my elastic is handling everything I am coming up against with ease. I have played around with different elastics over the years and always find myself coming back to 15H; it is in my eyes the ultimate big-fish tamer.

Corn Paste definitely sorts theboys from the men! 

It doesn’t take long before I am well past the 100lb mark, including some real monsters – carp up to 20lb in fact! Fish that in my eyes just do not get caught otherwise; they look darker in colour than others I have caught from here before, almost wild looking, and I am convinced these fish avoid baits such as pellets, which they will have grown to realise are used to catch them.

Feeding through the Cad Pot is working well and I can moderate the amount of feed I put in with the bait, depending on what is happening in the swim. I catch a big bream at one point, which tells me I am not feeding enough to have the carp competing, otherwise they wouldn’t allow this species anywhere near my bait.

It feels like no time at all has passed before it is time to pack up. In just a short session I have managed to catch some really big fish, coming back with a fish almost every drop in. It is easy to see how a weight can be built up quickly when catching fish as big as these.

I suggest you get out on the bank and try it yourself, but remember… it’ll be our little secret!


Want More? 

Visit http://www.polefishingplus.com/backissues.aspx For Andy Findlay's EXCLUSIVE Video Guide To Paste Fishing!



Angler File

Andy Findlay

Age: 46

Lives: Leicester

Sponsors: Preston Innovations, Sonubaits

Pole: Preston Innovations Response M90


Venue File

The Glebe Fishery

Location: Peckleton, Leicestershire

Contact: 07711 711650

Web: www.malloryparkfisheries.co.uk

Inside Steve Ringer’s Rig Box


Steve Ringer explains when and why he opts for certain elastics…


Doubled-Up No4 -

Doubling up elastics was a revolution when the idea came about a few years ago. Using a double strand of single solid elastic gives you the soft nature of a single strand but one that powers up quickly, allowing you to be in charge of any fish you hook.

During the winter a Preston Innovations No4 original Slip elastic doubled up is perfect for a lot of my F1 fishing. At that time of the year fish don’t tend to fight quite as hard and a doubled-up No4 ensures that every hooked fish counts.

In the summer months I still find a place for doubled-up elastic, finding it perfect for catching skimmers and when I am confident I will be catching skimmers this is my go-to choice.

Hooklengths of anything from 0.09mm to 0.13mm would be commonplace when using a doubled-up No4 elastic.


Yellow Hydrolastic -


Relatively new in the range of Hydrolastics from Daiwa, yellow 3 to 5 Hydro slots in as the lowest grade in the range. I find this elastic perfect for catching silvers on both commercial and natural venues when using baits such as maggots, casters and worms.

It is particularly soft, meaning I run no risk of bumping even the smallest of fish; however, when fitted with a puller kit it gives me every opportunity to land a bonus skimmer or carp.

Pink Hydrolastic

Many of the venues I visit have a good mix of skimmers and carp, and pink 4 to 6 Hydro gives me a good balance when targeting skimmers up to 1lb, but because there is the chance of hooking a bonus carp I feel the extra stretch in light hollow elastics gives me more chance to land it. Doubled-up elastics in comparison don’t have the same levels of stretch.

Guru N-Gauge 0.11mm diameter hooklengths make a good, balanced setup and give me every opportunity to land big carp should I hook one.


Orange Hydrolastic -


The new boy on the block from the Diawa Hydrolastic range, orange or F1 Hydro is rated from 4 to 8, slotting between the already popular pink and blue in the range. Orange Hydro is my go-to summer F1 or ‘stockie’ carp elastic at venues such as Tunnel Barn Farm; it behaves slightly differently from some of the other elastics in the range in that it allows the fish to leave the swim with very little disturbance but powers up quickly, meaning I am able to land the fish in double quick time.

Perfect for real F1 bagging sessions!


Blue Hydrolastic -


Blue Hydro has proved to be a valuable part of my elastic armoury over the last few years. I find it is perfect for bigger skimmers, F1s and even bonus carp.

It really found a place in my heart during the 2014 WalterLand Masters in Hungary. The order of the festival was carassio and skimmers, with the chance of a bonus carp, and blue Hydro fitted the bill superbly. The elastic’s soft action ensured I didn’t pull out of the important weight-building carassio and skimmers, making sure that every fish ended up in my net.


White Hydrolastic -


Arguably the most versatile pole elastic ever created. Perfect for a range of different species and tactics. Capable of landing fish into double figures when used in conjunction with a puller kit but also equally at home catching smaller fish such as skimmers and small carp.

I use white Hydro when I am fishing venues where I’m not too sure what I am likely to catch next.

Another positive is the range of hooklengths you can use with white hydro; I could choose to fish as light as 0.11mm but equally fish anything up to 0.17mm if I know I’m likely to catch some much bigger fish.


Black Hydrolastic -


Black Hydro is extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of scenarios, including the short pole when using meat or corn, fishing in the margins or even when fishing shallow. I like to use it when targeting carp in the region of 4lb to 8lb and feel it keeps me in control when targeting fish of this size.

Don’t get me wrong, black Hydro will handle bigger carp as well with no trouble, in fact I have had carp into high doubles using it.

Hooklengths of choice would tend to range between 0.15mm and 0.17mm Guru N-Gauge.


Red Hydrolastic -


This is my number-one big fish and margin elastic. Red Hydrolastic is capable of landing anything and I choose to use it when the carp I am catching are upwards of 6 to 8lb, with double-figure carp likely.

It isn’t as harsh as people think, either; Red hydro is actually quite forgiving on the strike, which allows the fish to leave the swim without too much disturbance but once it powers up it can tame the biggest of fish with ease!

Being an elastic used for big fish I always reflect this in the hooklengths I team it up with. Those of you who have followed my articles over the last few months will know how much I stress the importance of balance, and 0.19mm diameter Guru N-Gauge will complement this elastic perfectly.

Reach the unreachable, with Andy Power.


Andy Power explains how a long-line attack can help you reach fish that otherwise might prove uncatchable…


So, you’ve drawn a peg with an island 20 metres away and a favourable wind off your shoulder… how would you approach it? You could fish the feeder, and maybe you’ll catch early but potentially spook the fish from the limited water in front of you. Or the waggler may be a good option, particularly with a difficult wind.

Better still, you could long-line it with the pole, a deadly but underused tactic in my opinion. Today you find me on Acorn Lake at the famous White Acres Fisheries, where I am going to show you the basics of this simple but rewarding tactic.

As with most kinds of fishing, the key to success with long-lining is much to do with feeding. 


I always have a few rigs in my box specifically for this tactic as, although this scenario doesn’t come along that often, it definitely helps to have the right setup to help you present your bait efficiently. Ideally I believe you need a round-bodied float to help you control the rig, a short carbon stem to allow the float to follow the bulk in flight without tangling, and a short, thick tip that cocks quickly and is highly visible when fishing 18 to 20 metres out.

Such a float is not available on the market so I doctor my own using PB Inter 2 floats. I simply chop the carbon stem in half, then cut the bristle down to a 5mm stump and glue a 2mm hollow float bristle around an inch long in place over the top (these hollow tips are available from most tackle shops). This gives me the perfect float for the job, and I carry them from 0.4g up to 1.5g, on lines that are five metres long, to cover me for all conditions or distances. Picking the correct size float can be trial and error until you can swing the rig comfortably.

These rigs are then shotted with an Olivette as a bulk with two No10 droppers. Main lines are usually the lightest I feel I can get away with, typically 0.13mm Reflo Power. The thinner the main line, the less wind resistance it has, giving me a better presentation. Also, placing float silicone halfway up the bristle can reduce tangles when the rig does, unfortunately spin through the air on the cast.


Plumbing Up

This requires a little thought, as it’s obviously impossible to do accurately in the conventional way. To plumb up I do it as if I was fishing a waggler; it helps to initially undershot the float, to help it sit above the plummet and not at an angle. When I swing the plummet I try to let the float land on top of it so the rig is sitting vertically, then adjust the float until it is just visible. I can then fine-tune this if I feel the need with an AAA shot, instead of a plummet, as this will allow the rig to sit straighter.

Today I have elected to fish in two-and-a-half feet of water against the island, which puts me around two feet away from it. With the nights still being bitterly cold I think this is an ideal depth for fish to feed confidently, especially as this shallow water should soon warm up in the bright sunshine today.

The length of the rig is then fine-tuned after plumbing by making a few practice casts and trimming the rig down until the float lands on the required spot with a tight line behind the float.

Andy's doctored floats make the perfect swingers! 




Casting or swinging your rig into place can require a bit of practice if you have never done it, but essentially it’s quite easy. When you ship out try lifting the pole as you ship out to create momentum to flick the rig out; if you don’t then hit the required spot simply swing the rig back and forth in a pendulum motion until you gain enough momentum to make the cast.

By dropping the pole at the last moment you straighten the rig out and feather it down to minimise disturbance. Also, by keeping the line straight between pole and float, there is less slack to pick up on the strike, meaning you hit more bites

Bigger carp like this often hug the sanctuary of an island! 


Playing Fish

This can be a little awkward with so much line; I like to ship back to my top four or five as soon a possible, keeping the pole tip low, maintaining pressure on the fish, then as it is within netting range I lift the top five to try and keep the fish’s head up.

With bigger fish I always have the option of using my side puller while still playing fish on a top four or five. You may be tempted to use heavy elastics to make up for the extra line, but I believe this is wrong. Striking with so much line requires a big strike, causing a lot of pressure on the hook-hold, so lighter hollow elastic reduces this risk.

Today I’ve opted for a No10 Dura Hollo, which allows me to just net small carp and F1s on a top five without the use of a Pulla, but is soft enough not to pull out of them on strike.


Bait Choice

Ideal baits for this tactic are maggots and casters; using maggots on the hook can be great for when you need to fish a little overdepth to hold the bottom, as fish seem to hold on to them for longer, giving you time to see the bite. However, depending on the venue small nuisance fish can be a problem with these baits, which is when I turn to pellets or meat.

Pellets can be great in the warmer months particularly when the fish are coming shallow, and make a great attractive noise when loose fed. However, bites can be harder to hit unless you can present them close to dead depth in perfect conditions.

Meat can offer a few more advantages; it quite often picks out the bigger fish and it sinks very slowly. This can be a great advantage as it allows the fish more time to intercept the bait on the drop. A lot of the bites with this tactic come on the drop, so a slow-sinking bait may give you that edge.


Today’s Session

I have an island around 20 metres away, so I have opted to set a 0.8g rig a little longer than my top four for the spot I intend to feed, and also a 1g rig with a little extra line to search the peg left and right, and for a bit more stability and casting weight for when the wind gets up.

Today I’ve started the session by feeding… nothing! By placing the olivette just under the float to give myself a slower drop with a 6mm piece of punched meat on a hair and Quickstop I’ve managed a few early bonus carp and F1s without feeding. The sound of my olivette hitting the water seems to create an attractive ‘plop’, and by dropping the rig in the same place twice I create a double plop, which seems to draw the fish to my hookbait, similar to slapping when fishing shallow.

I then start to loose feed three to five 6mm cubes of meat every couple of minutes, which gets a few fish competing. As the session goes on, though, it’s clear I cannot keep plundering this line as the fish back off after I hook one. I then start a new line at 16 metres at an angle towards the open water to my right, again with 6mm meat but using a Cad Pot for accuracy.

I continue to pick off F1s by potting just five pieces and waiting for a bite. All the while I loose feed meat on the island swim to let them gain confidence again in the quiet water.

When I do go back on the long line the sport is brilliant – the fish are really feeding confidently with plenty of F1s, carp and even a goldfish gracing the net! After a cold winter it’s finally nice to get fish competing for bait again, roll on the summer!


Andy's Swinging Secrets! 


1. Different size floats help Andy swing different distances and cope with variable conditions.


2. Light lines and small hooks help fool wary fish and with balanced tackle everything can be landed as long as enough time is taken.


3. Punched meat is great for swinging because it sinks really slowly, which gibes fish plenty of time to intercept it.



Angler File -

Andy Power

Age: 28

Lives: Wells

Sponsors: Preston Innovations/Sonubaits

Venue File

White Acres Fisheries

Location: White Cross, Newquay, Cornwall TR8 4LW

Website: www.news-reel.com

Contact: 01726 862519



Extra Tips

Always try and keep a tight line between pole tip and float, to help hit bites and control the rig.

Placing the bulk under the float gives a slower fall, but placing it at half depth will reduce tangles.

Using strong butt sections or a mini extension will protect your pole from damage from what can be a demanding tactic.

Carry spare No4 or even No5 sections to help you swap easily between rigs.



No10 Dura Hollo

Doctored 0.8/1g PB Inter2 float

0.13mm Reflo Power main line

0.11mm Reflo Power hooklengths, size 20 PR36 hook, with a Quickstop on the hair

Ringer On Hooks!

Steve Ringer reveals the patterns of hooks that he uses for different kinds of fishing, explaining when and why he uses them.

I am always playing around with hook patterns. For me, a hook is one of the most important parts of fishing. It hosts the bait that you are trying to get the fish to eat, and actually catches the fish for you, taking all the strain of the fight. Here are most of the patterns that I use for pole fishing.



Gama Pellet

Sizes: 16 and 18

Line diameters: 0.10mm, 0.11mm and 0.13mm

These are great when you’re catching mixed fish. They’re very strong, without being overly heavy in the wire. This is important when you’re looking to catch quality silver fish and the occasional big F1 that can sometimes be wary. On a lot of commercials there is a big head of mixed fish to catch, such as at White Acres, where I fish a lot of festivals. To get consistent results in leagues and festivals it’s important that you target this mixture of fish. Fishing with chopped worms and casters is a brilliant ploy – you catch plenty of roach, perch, skimmers, and maybe a tench or two, but mixed in with these will be the odd carp and F1. The Gama Pellet is the perfect hook for this when fishing with baits like a worm head, or single and double caster.

On tricky days, when a smaller hook bait is better, I like to use a size 18 to 0.10mm or 0.11mm line, while on good days when I’m really catching well, I’ll step up to a size 16 and 0.13mm line.



LWG Barbless Spade

Sizes: 14 to 18

Line diameters: 0.11mm, 0.13mm and 0.15mm

This is my general carp and F1 hook when I’m fishing with baits that I put straight on the hook, such as pellets, meat and corn. These are very strong and very sharp, without being overgunned. This is vital when catching big weights of fish because you need to get bites but also have the confidence to get the fish in quickly.

On a lot of venues I fish, a great swim is the short pole with meat or corn, where I normally put the bait straight on the hook. These hooks are always my choice for this. The most popular pin that I have in the hook box is a size 16 in these hooks to 0.13mm or 0.15mm line. Matched with white or black Hydro elastic, I’ll happily target fish to double figures with them. When really bagging, I’ll also use these hooks for F1s.



LWG Barbless Eyed

Sizes: 18 and 16

Line diameters: 0.11mm, 0.13mm and 0.15mm

This is the same hook as above but with an eye rather than a spade. I use this when I want to fish with a hair-rigged band or spike. Fishing with a hair-rigged band plays a major role in my fishing these days, allowing me to place a hard pellet in the band and have the hook free to hook the fish. I simply tie the band in a tiny loop and whip a knotless knot around this so that the band and pellet are sat just off the bend of the hook. I sometimes use a little bait spike too when I’m fishing with meat on the hook on the long pole, or fishing shallow with it. In these instances, I’m regularly lifting the bait and laying the rig in to keep it falling through the water. Using the bait stop on a small hair rig means the meat stays on much better and you also seem to avoid nuisance silver fish with this arrangement. I’ve even had a lot of success using a small chunk of worm on a bait stop and hair rig. It helps the worm stay on and you can catch five or six fish on the same bit! I have these hooks tied in sizes 16 and 18 on line diameters from 0.11mm for wary F1s, to 0.13mm for general F1 fishing in summer, and 0.15mm for carp and catching well.



Kamasan B911 F1

Sizes: 20, 18 and 16

Line diameters: 0.10mm, 0.12mm and 0.14mm fluorocarbon

I love this hook for winter F1 fishing. It is my main pattern throughout the cooler months at places such as Tunnel Barn Farm, and I even use it occasionally for commercial silvefish. The hook is quite fine, but the round bend and wide gape means that you get a good hook-hold. Balanced with the right elastic, such as pink or blue Hydro with a puller kit, you can land big carp on them too, which you do occasionally hook.

Interestingly, I have these hooks tied on Gamakatsu fluorocarbon line. I have a lot of confidence in this for F1 fishing because the line is supposed to be almost invisible underwater. It is also very stiff and you don’t get any tangles. When fishing with a short hooklength and a bulk close to the hook, I really like the idea of the hooklength being stiff and straight bcause this means that I am fishing very direct to the bait. When a wary F1 takes the bait, I see a bite immediately. I’m happy to use these hooks for maggots and expander pellets.



Kamasan B560

Sizes: 14, 16, and 18

Line diameters: 0.10mm and 0.11mm

This is my ultimate all-round barbed hook. I use it on natural venues when targeting roach, perch and skimmers, and have caught big bags of fish on it both in the UK and in Ireland. Last year I enjoyed some brilliant matches fishing at Furzton Lake in Milton Keynes, catching numerous 40lb-plus bags of roach. A size 16 B560 was my hook choice for this.

You can use all kinds of baits with them – maggots, casters and worms are my most popular choices. The wide gape and round bend gives you a great hook-hold, and even when you mount a chunky worm head or double maggot, there’s plenty of hook point showing. Although the hooks are barbed, it’s only a small barb that’s just enough to keep your bait and the fish on, but not too big that it slows you down when unhooking fish! The main sizes that I use are 16 and 18. The 16 is my bagging hook and I’ll happily use just a single maggot or caster when I’m catching well. On trickier days a size 18 is usually my choice. I normally match these with 0.10mm or 0.11mm line, and a doubled-up No4 Preston Slip Elastic.



LWG Feeder

Sizes: 12, 14, 16 and 18

Line diameters: 0.10mm, 0.11mm and 0.13mm

This is the hook that I use when I want to step up a gear into bagging mode on natural venues. It often comes into play when there are a lot of skimmers around and I need a hook that is a little bit bigger and stronger than the B560. The barb on these is also quite viscous, which helps keep fish on the hook when fishing in deep water. I’ve used it quite a lot in Ireland when targeting skimmers, where I’ll place two or three red worms on a size 12 or 14. Bream and skimmers can be a nightmare for coming off in deep water, but I have a lot of confidence to administer a firm strike and guide the fish out of the swim and into the net with this hook. If I were to target bigger bonus fish such as perch or chub on a canal with the pole with lobworms, this would definitely be the one I’d reach for.



F1 Pellet

Sizes: 16 and 18

Line diameters: 0.10mm, 0.12mm and 0.14mm fluorocarbon, and 0.11mm and 0.13mm N-Gauge

This is a new hook that I’m still trying out and looking forward to using a lot more. It’s specifically designed for pellet fishing with F1s in mind. The wide gape but rather straight point means that you can roll a soft pellet onto the bend perfectly and still have plenty of hook point showing. It is medium in wire, which is important for good presentation to fish like big F1s. I’m yet to have any issues with the hook straightening and have hooked and landed plenty of big carp while testing them. For me, this pattern fills a lovely gap between the B911 F1s and the LWG Spades – it’s the perfect spring and autumn F1 pattern. Despite the packet saying ‘pellet’, I’ve also used these with maggots and worms. I’ll happily use these on light elastics such as yellow and pink Hydro and would step up to white if needed when I’m catching well.



X-Strong Carp Spade

Sizes: 12, 14 and 16

Line diameters: 0.17mm and 0.19mm

The ultimate margin and big-fish hook! I love getting these beauties out and use them for all my big-carp and margin work. They’re incredibly strong and sharp and have a very wide gape with a long point to give you a reassuring hook-hold. For margin fishing, there’s little scope for messing around, in my book. You may only have a short spell at the end of the match to catch big fish quickly and you need strong and reliable gear. My typical margin gear is a size 12 Carp Spade, matched to 0.19mm N-Gauge and red Hydro, for fishing big bunches of maggots or two full worms down the edge. The huge gape means that you can mount these multiple baits with ease and still have loads of hook point exposed. On tricky days, or in clear water, it can pay to scale down a little, so I always have a few size 16s tied on 0.17mm line too. Sometimes I’ll use these on the short pole with meat when the fish are really having it!

A new competition for disabled anglers launched in the East Midlands


A brand new competition for disabled anglers is being launched in the East Midlands. The inaugural East Midlands Disabled Angling Championships will be taking place on Thursday 22nd September at Rycroft Fishery, Derbyshire (DE74 2RE) on Moat Lake. 

The competition has been established in partnership with the Angling Trust to create more opportunities for disabled anglers to fish in competitions. The match will form part of an on going calendar of local matches for disabled anglers taking place at accessible fisheries.

Steve Barraclough has signed an individual sponsorship deal with Browning Fishing, part of the Zebco Europe group of brands. Steve, from Wakefield, West Yorks, will be representing the brand a major fishing events and assisting with future product development.

Pole Fishing shines the spotlight on the latest pole roller from the UK’s ever-innovating angling brand, MAP

This is definitely the most adaptable pole roller that we have ever seen... you can almost do anything with it!

The legs are a key feature because these are fully detachable, meaning you can clip them in and out of the roller. Each roller comes with two sets of telescopic legs, allowing you to place the roller on virtually any ground. The shorter, stumpy legs are ideal when you have a bank behind, and you need the roller just above ground height for a low ship. The short legs extend from 20 to 28 centimetres. You also get a longer set of telescopic legs, extending to 45, 70 and 95 centimetres. Then there are the rollers themselves.

These are top-quality, extra-sturdy and roll incredibly smoothly on their bearings. Across the horizontal of the
roller, there are four
separate roller sections,
meaning you can have
several pole sections in
storage on the roller
without worry of dragging
them off when you ship
out! The upright rollers are in fact made from a different material from the horizontal rollers. The horizontals are the ones that can cause bounce, but by making these from super-soft memory foam, MAP has ensured super-smooth shipping to prevent you scattering that bait out of your pole pot when you ship out! You might also notice the upright roller, which can be located in any of the three holes in the main bar.

The Build Up

The Angling Times Supercup is the biggest club team event in the U.K match fishing diary, the 2015 event attracted over 300 teams! Over the last 5 years I have fished the competition for Warrington A.A and have been lucky enough to reach the final and also the semi-finals on a couple of occasions, in fact, being part of a team and going on a good cup run brings with it a massive amount of satisfaction. Not only do you have your own sense of triumph but you also feel that of those around you.

Our regular guest blogger Jake Fowles reports back from Tunnel Barn Farm match held at the end of January. Will his choice between maggots or pellets going to make the difference at the weigh in? 

Moss Farm Fisheries (Maddisons Pool) 09.01.16

The Build-Up
Firstly, a happy New Year to all readers of my posts. Hopefully this year will bring even more success and I hope you continue to follow my progress. As always, it is very much appreciated!

My first outing of 2016 saw me take a trip to Moss Farm Fisheries in Irlam, just a six or seven-mile trip up the road for the final round of the winter series that I have been part of and my first opportunity for silverware this year.

People who have read my last couple of posts will be up to date with how I have been getting on in previous rounds of the series, but for those who may have missed them, out of the previous three rounds, I was unavailable for the first (luckily we are able to drop our worst result). That meant the three remaining matches were even more important because there was no room for a poor result. Round 2 saw me finish 2nd in the match, a solid start to my winter series. Round 3, again at Lloyd’s Meadow Fishery, resulted in a silver-fish match win, but only fourth in the overall competition. Not completely disastrous but it did mean that going into the last match I was sitting in second with a group of people just one point behind me in the overall standings. Derek Smith was top of the table at this point. However, he was not fishing the last match and ultimately could not figure in the overall standings.

The Draw
Having arrived at the venue early I made my way to the on-site café where the draw would be taking place and got myself a full English breakfast, joining a few of the lads who had the same idea. As I mentioned in my last post following my first visit to Moss Farm, the venue has brilliant facilities with the on-site café as well as a tackle shop.

It didn’t take too long before all the expected participants arrived and we began the draw. Before the match I had been advised by people who had fished the venue before that the better pegs were those on the near side of the lake (1 to 7) or closest to the car park. Having not seen the lake before I wasn’t too fussed where I drew, I just knew I needed to do well!

I pulled out Peg 8; apparently the wrong end of the lake but being an end peg I was happy with my pick.

The Match

On arrival at Maddisons Pool, the match lake here at Moss Farm Fisheries, I pretty quickly came up with my plan for the match. The lake is a pretty standard canal/snake-type lake, although in places pretty wide. For example, my peg was 16.5 metres to the far side, meaning options are increased slightly from more conventional narrow snake lakes. Setting up the tip rod was an option but in the end I decided to keep it in my bag.

I decided on three main lines: A top two plus two at the bottom of near shelf feeding maggots, using a 0.3g AS3 float, 0.08mm hooklength and a size 18 B911 F1 hook. The second was fished at 11 metres to the bottom of far shelf feeding pellets and dead red maggots, using a 0.4g AS3 float, 0.10mm hooklength and a size 18 B911 F1. The final setup was my far-bank dobbing rig comprising a 0.1g Carpa Ape float, 0.11mm hooklength and size 16 B911 F1 hook.

I kicked the match off by putting a small sprinkling of soaked micro pellets in on my 11m line, along with a few dead red maggots, hoping that when I moved onto this line some fish would have settled over it.

The first rig I picked up was my far-bank dobbing rig, set six inches underdepth with a strung-out shotting pattern to help the bait fall as naturally as possible. I dropped it in on the far side, poking it into gaps in the far-bank foliage and up against the features along the bank.

It took around 20 minutes to get my first bite of the day. This resulted in a carp of around 1lb. My next few put-ins resulted in nothing more than being mithered by small rudd, which were interfering with the bait wherever I dropped it in. To try and avoid this I altered my shotting, but to no avail.

A change was in order and I decided to see if anything had settled over my initial feed at 11 metres. Two dead red maggots was my initial bait of choice and it almost instantly produced, with my float burying after just a couple of minutes; a small yet scrappy carp of around 4oz finding itself in my net following a spirited fight.

Next put in I waited a little longer but again a small carp fell for my hook bait and inevitably ended up in my net. I’d have been happy to continue catching these small carp but that wasn’t to be.

It took 20 minutes to get my next bite, this time a carp of around 3lb; a nice bonus on what looked like it was going to be a tough day!

Following this I struggled to get another bite from this line. A rest was in order, so I topped the swim up with another sprinkling of pellets and moved onto my 2+2 line, where I had been trickling in maggots from the start of the match.

I was expecting bites straightaway from here because it was my line to catch everything and anything – or so I thought. Not a single bite! Not even those pesky rudd had moved in.

At the halfway point I felt I was doing okay. Not many big fish were being caught and most people were ticking over with small silvers with the odd small carp chucked in.

For the next 90 minutes I rotated between my far-bank line and 11m line, picking up plenty of small fish, rudd, roach and small carp of no more than 4oz to 6oz. I could only see the people directly opposite and Jeff on the next peg. He had been catching silvers from the off down the track but had struggled to catch any bonus fish. Will Willows, my main competition in the overall standings, had caught a lot more consistently than me, with a few better carp mixed in. However, apart from him, I could not see that anybody had caught much more than me.

The last hour was simply a case of trying to pick up anything possible. Despite being a hard winter’s day’s fishing, the fact that I didn’t know what I was going to catch next made the venue good fun and I had to work hard for bites; something you have to do if you are going to catch during winter.

In this time I managed another carp of around 2lb and some smaller fish, mainly from my 11metre line, some falling to a 4mm Xpand pellet and some to maggots. I did also manage to catch a couple of chunky roach from my 2+2 line in the closing minutes to finish the match off nicely.

The Weigh-In
After some trouble with the batteries in the weigh scales, we did eventually manage to get the weigh-in started after one of the carp lads from the neighbouring lake kindly leant us a set of dial scales.

It was noticeable from the first few weighs that the bigger carp hadn’t really shown a great deal, although everybody seemed to have caught plenty of fish.

With four people weighed in, 10lb was winning. Will was next to weigh in and easily took the lead when his mixed net of fish took the scales round to 21lb 6oz. I knew I hadn’t done enough to beat that but as long as he didn’t finish more than one position above me we would be level on points.

Following a weight of 7lb coming from the peg to my right it was my turn. I had guessed at between 10lb and 12lb and wasn’t too far wrong when the scales read 12lb 8oz, putting me into 2nd place at this point. However, there were still seven people to weigh in and if anybody came anywhere between Will and me, I would drop down the overall standings.

Jeff Stoll and Pete Mahoney were next to weigh in on the two pegs directly to my left. Strangely, both weighed in with 6lb. Following these, other weights on this side of the lake included 8lb and 5lb.

With just Paul Ryan to weigh in on the end peg the standings hadn’t changed, with Will and I still sitting top of the overall league and 1st and 2nd on the day.

Paul had fancied himself on this venue and was confident before the match that he would do well and rightly so, when his net of carp put him into 1st place with 24lb 6oz, a great weight on a tough day!

This dropped Will and me down a place but, more importantly, kept the gap to one position between us. Noticeably, Paul’s fish were of a much better stamp than anybody else’s. Having asked him after the match how he caught, it’s safe to say his experience on the venue was his edge.

In the end I was 3rd overall on the day and had done just enough to secure first place overall in the winter series, sharing the spoils with Will.

The Results
1st – Paul Ryan – 24lb 6oz
2nd – Will Willows – 21lb 6oz (Sec)
3rd – Jake Fowles – 12lb 8oz (Sec)
4th – Mike Dench – 10lb
5th – Simon Evans – 8lb
6th – Arthur Plumb – 7lb 12oz
7th – Dale Shingler – 7lb
8th – Jeff Stoll/Pete Mahoney – 6lb
10th – David Smith – 4lb 14oz

It was a typical winter’s day fishing at Moss Farm Fisheries; hard work yet everybody managed to catch plenty of fish. The venue has a great setup with really good facilities I would definitely recommend it.
It was a nervy last match but in the end I managed to do enough to secure the overall league title and collect my first piece of silverware of the year, hopefully the first of many!

A big thank you to Paul Ryan and Simon Evans who have run a really enjoyable series over the last four months and to both Lloyds Meadow Fishery and Moss Farm Fisheries for accommodating the matches!

Please feel free to ‘Like’ my Facebook page, Jake Fowles Match Fishing https://facebook.com/Jake-Fowles-Match-Fishing-873368519426245/ 

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